Efficiency and effectiveness of hospital services: high-value equipment

25 Feb 2015

Overview: This audit examined the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of managing high-value Computed Tomography (CT) and Medical Resonance (MR) scanners in public hospitals. We found that these imaging services are not being managed economically, efficiently or effectively across Victoria.

The cost-effectiveness of delivering CT and MR imaging services varies widely across health services. Some CT and MR imaging services operate at a profit while others incur losses in the millions each year. In its central procurement role, Health Purchasing Victoria could assist health services to achieve the best value when purchasing CT and MR imaging services. 

Health services are currently unable to compare their CT and MR scanner economy and efficiency with that of other health services. This makes it difficult for health services, and the Department of Health and Human Services as the manager of Victoria’s health system, to know whether this costly imaging equipment is being used efficiently.

The department does not include imaging services in its planning. Health services' planning for and management of imaging equipment over the medium to longer term is poor. Without informed planning at the department and health-service level, there is a risk that patients will not be able to access CT and MR scanners in close proximity to them, in a timely way, and without incurring additional costs.

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